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Jurgen Klopp's plan if Liverpool fail to sign Virgil van Dijk will certainly not please fans

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For Liverpool, it has been a fairly frustrating summer so far, with the club struggling to leave a substantial mark in the transfer market.

The Reds have brought in Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson and Dominic Solanke, but they have failed massively in pursuing other key targets.

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk was perhaps the biggest failure of all, with Liverpool actually having to issue a formal apology for the illegal way they approached the Dutch defender about a move.

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Luckily, the apology was enough to please the FA and Jurgen Klopp's side were not imposed with any further sanctions.

Now, a few months later, the Reds continue to be linked with Van Dijk, who has made it clear that he does not see his future with the Saints.

He has handed in a formal transfer request and has even been punished by the club for his poor attitude and mindset.

Southampton's hierarchy appear adamant that they will not offload their star man, a similar stance to Liverpool with Brazilian ace, Philippe Coutinho.

It seems fairly unlikely that at such a late stage in the window, the Saints will cave in, however, Klopp holds out hope that if they they sign Lazio's Wesley Hoedt, there maybe a chance to swoop in for Van Dijk.

Burnley v Southampton - Premier League

Nevertheless, it is a long shot and to make matters worse for Liverpool fans, the manager's plan if they fail to land their top defensive target will not exactly install confidence.

According to the Echo, Klopp will not pursue a new central defender if he cannot get Van Dijk, meaning he will place faith in Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and the inexperienced, Joe Gomez.

Not exactly a stellar cast of defenders, with most aware that the quartet desperately need someone to help them, even if it is not Van Dijk.

Southampton FC v Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC - UEFA Europa League

Matip is perhaps the only one who has shown some form of consistency over the past year, with both Lovren and Klavan regularly criticised for their performances.

It seems bizarre that Klopp would ignore an area that he knows needs strengthening just because his main target is not available.

Come May, his seemingly negligent decision could come back to haunt him.

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